The Protocol was always intended, as the backstop was before that, to tie the UK to a relationship dominated by the EU.
The tensions in NI with respect to the operation of the Protocol will only intensify while the UK Government resists the EU in efforts to lasso the UK back into the subservient relationship.
The (almost) triggering of Article 16 at the end of January showed how little the EU cared, not even with a passing thought, for the Good Friday Agreement or for its ever faithful member of the EU27 the Republic of Ireland.
Not hard to understand how those who demanded the NI Protocol be ‘implemented rigourously’ to assure NI’s Special relationship should demand a UK/EU SPS agreement to soften the Protocol; just like Switzerland? What that means, in essence, is more Europe. A step towards a sequence of agreements that would in effect take the UK ever closer back towards Brussels.
There is a lot of focus on the legalities rather than the actual level of ‘harm’ as EU would see it. Little proportionality in respect of actual ‘risk’ to SM and an absolutist approach that has nothing to offer the NI consumer or small business just trying to make ends meet. https://t.co/oRryuG8Jen
— Sapere Aude (@thedissenter) February 11, 2021
The podcast at the top of the page discusses how the Protocol was never about the Good Friday Agreement, or ‘best of both worlds’ but a desire for the EU to create a Trojan horse to be a thorn in the UK’s side , and by a Conservative leader desperate to move out of the Brexit mess he was bequeathed by the previous Prime Minister.
There is no doubt the EU believes anything entering Northern Ireland is a risk to the Single Market – a absolutist legal hold – a M&S ready meal could bring down the German economy in one thoughtless purchase at Sprucefield.
Risk, however, is relative. That idea needs to gain a lot more currency to break through what seems at present to be an impasse.
Not that the idea of absolutism is too far from the thinking of the Northern Ireland Department of Health. Despite indications that the vaccination programme is already having a positive impact on the number of over 80 year old Inpatients, the Chief Medical Officer was reported to believe that restrictions would stay in place until 2022. If vaccines are to be of little impact on restrictions, what will see an end to the confinement that is increasingly frustrating and damaging to the economy and personal sanity.
The PoliticalOD podcast is available on Podbean as well as Google, Apple, Spotify, Amazon and a host of other places – basically most places you might usually download or listen to podcasts.